To be honest, we here at ISRAEL21c need very few excuses to share with you adorable dog photos. But it so happens that the world is set to celebrate International Dog Day on August 26, giving us ample reason to do just that.
In honor of the special occasion, we spoke with Sary Hayon, the dog lover and pet photographer behind all the wonderful photos throughout this article.
“I’m a new immigrant from Colombia, although I’m here almost seven years so perhaps not so new anymore,” she says. “I didn’t know much about photography beforehand, but I took a photography course here and really loved it. That’s how it all started.”
“A little over a year ago, I wanted to do something different and decided I want to help a person or an organization aiding animals. I wrote to a few dog adoption centers around Israel, saying that I want to do something that could benefit them or help them raise funds, and I also spoke with a friend who’s a dog trainer and he suggested that I speak with Yuval,” she explains.
“Yuval Mandelovitzch runs a really special non-profit organization. They usually work with pit bulls and other dogs in really difficult situations. They rescue dogs, whether from dog fights or from wandering the streets, and they have a large place up north that’s home to around 200 dogs.”
“They rehabilitate these dogs and once the dogs are ready, they look for a home for them. But if they see that a dog isn’t suitable for adoption or for city life, they keep them there.”
All the pit bulls featured here were photographed by Hayon for a calendar that the non-profit is selling to raise funds for its activities, and features dogs that were rescued and adopted.
“It was really fun. The owners were really nice and sweet, while some of the dogs were very calm and others very energetic. A day’s photoshoot with dogs is always great fun,” she says. “It’s really nice, because they’re very much themselves in the photos – you can see their character.”
And for those wondering how to get amazing shots of their beloved pets, Hayon has a few top tips.
“First of all, get down low to their eye level,” she recommends. “Usually, it’s not so natural for dogs to look into a phone or a camera, so have something with you that they really love – it could be a ball, or a snack, for example.”
“If your dog enjoys doing tricks with snacks, then it can be nice to photograph them doing these, for example them giving out their hand or standing still, it comes out very cute in the photo,” she suggests.
“And have lots and lots of patience,” she concludes. “They want to move the whole time, so just be very patient.”
For information on Sary Hayon and dog photography, click here.